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GEN News Highlights : Apr 9, 2007

Xechem Receives Funding to Enhance Sickle Cell Treatment

Total of $3.8 million will be used to hasten construction of production facility.

Xechem International reports that Ramesh Pandey, chairman and CEO of Xechem companies, collected N350 million Naira, or $2.6 million, from Nigerian Export-Import (NEXIM) Bank. This amount is in addition to an earlier N150 million Naira, or $1.2 million, approved and disbursed by NEXIM Bank.

“With these funds,” according to Pandey, “we can now accelerate completion of the commercial scale production facility for an opening during the fourth quarter of 2007.

Xechem plans to use the plant to manyfacture Nicosan. It is an antisickling drug developed by the Nigerian scientists at the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD). In clinical studies conducted under NIPRD’s auspices, the drug has shown to substantially reduce the degree of sickling of the red blood cells of those afflicted with the disease, explains Pandey.

While not a cure, the clinical trials have confirmed that the large majority of patients taking Nicosan no longer experience sickle cell crises while on the medication, and even among those whose crises are not eliminated, the number and severity of the crises are substantially reduced, he adds. Xechem says it has standardized and verified the antisickling activity of the product.